CRTC in line to get $23M investment
ALPENA — A large investment by the United States government into the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center will open the door to the use of more modern aircrafts, and secure the future of the CRTC.
Michigan Senator Gary Peters, who sits on the Senate’s Armed Forces Committee was able to capture $128 million from the national defense bill for bases in Michigan, of which the base in Alpena is in line to rake in $23 million.
The bill passed out of committee with bipartisan support and waits for full senate approval.
Peters said a portion of the funding will be used to build a modern new hangar, large enough and with the needed technology to handle the military’s most modern jets, fighters, and bombers.
“It will be a state-of-the-art, fifth- generation hangar that will be able to handle F-22 or F-35 jets,’ Peters said. “Those are a few of America’s most up-to-date and modern planes.”
The bill features a special designation for the CRTC, that the government recognizes as a premier testing location for all branches of the military. Peters said the designation and investment makes the base more critical to national security than ever, and ensures it will remain open in Alpena for many years.
The base has a direct impact on the local economy, Peters said. He said besides the federal money that pours in, the men and women who work or train at the base spend their money in local small businesses, which helps encourage development and job creation.
“There is significant spillover from the base into the Alpena economy and provides a huge economic boost to the community that houses them,” he said. “The flight crews and training units visit local restaurants and shops, and the military purchases its resources from Alpena, so it is a large economic driver.”
Also included in the bill is $300 million to use for environmental restoration funding for the Air Force to help with environmental remediation at sites across the country, including for Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) cleanup.
Peters is unsure if the military will use some of that money in Alpena, but he added there is money for PFAS clean-up in the proposed infrastructure bill making its way through Congress now. He said he suspects the base will get some amount of money from one of the funding pots.
I would expect that we will finally be able to provide the resources and funding to finally clean up these sights,” Peters said.
The pollutants were discovered at the base in 2017, which led to residents in the area having their well water tested. Nearby bodies of water and the fish in those waters were also tested.
Samples tested by the State of Michigan did not show levels that exceeded the state’s minimum health standards.
Peters also announced that he intends to stop in Alpena later in the summer, when he does his annual motorcycle tour around Michigan. He said more details would be available soon.